On 10th December 2011, Vijana Amani Pamoja, VAP hosted the 1st Miss Mrembo, meaning (beauty) girls’ soccer tournament. An exciting day of soccer, hairdressing, awareness of gender based violence (GBV) and fashion show. The tournament was organized under the theme of “Kujiamini” a Swahili word meaning self confidence. A total of 150 girls drawn from 12 teams consisting of girls ages 10-18years from all the walks of Eastlands part of Nairobi converged at Bahati community grounds, the heart of Bahati in readiness to participate in this unique 7-a-side street football tournament whose aim was:
- Explore the importance of self esteem among teenage girls
- Encourage women to participate in sports.
- Emphasize on good grooming among girls /girls soccer players.
- Identify Miss Mrembo player of the year 2011
- Enable young women to make informed choices in their lives
- Create awareness on Sexual Assault among young girls
Despite soccer the tournament was made a success through the partnership of Nairobi Women’s hospital counsellors and VAP peer educators who addressed the participants on issues of GBV and Unity College of Hairdressing who groomed the girls.
Bahati is a township of an average population of 100,000 people and located in the Eastlands side of Nairobi. Majority of the dwellers are low income earners with the youth facing a myriad of social and economical challenges e.g. lack of employment, early pregnancies, rape, molestation, HIV/AIDS etc.
AN EXTRA BOOST OFF THE FIELD
What made this tournament special? Despite playing soccer, all the participating teams had an opportunity to get their hair groomed, received manicure and pedicure services all courtesy of Unity school of Hairdressing and got counselling services on gender based violence courtesy of Nairobi women’s hospital and VAP peer educators. Additionally each team had to produce 2 players to participate in the 2011 Miss Mrembo fashion show contest .Community members around Bahati also had an opportunity for all these services provided by Nairobi women’s hospital and Unity College of hair dressing.
MISS MREMBO 2011
A total of 24 players, two from each team competed for the Miss Mrembo fashion show contest whose criteria were:
a).Possession of soccer skills b) Discipline and confidence
c) Must have gone through the Mrembo manual
d) Able to answer satisfactory questions from the judges
Winner-The 2011 Miss Mrembo crown was given to 12 years old Jennifer Mweni from Undugu primary school who was selected by the judges for her splendid modelling skills and answers regarding gender based violence and sexual health reproductive from the judges. Additionally, Jennifer is also a graduate of Mrembo program, a program that addresses sexual health reproductive issues amongst girls.”I feel so much proud to be crowned the first Miss Mrembo. Being a graduate of Mrembo program I have learnt a lot about issues surrounding a girl child and this has really empowered my self esteem, and confidence.”Said Jennifer,(seated on the chair).Additionally, Jennifer received free beauty services twice per month, courtesy of Unity College of hair dressing, a voucher of 1,000 Kenya shillings to purchase for school items, Mrembo T/shirt and a soccer ball for her team.
Runners Up: The runners up spot went to 11years old Laureen Thambi from child survival school. Thambi received a voucher of 500 Kenya shillings to purchase for her school items, Mrembo T/shirt, a soccer jersey, one ball for her team and a six month sanitary towels supply courtesy of VAP’s Mrembo program.”It’s my privilege to participate in the Miss Mrembo soccer tournament as it has really made me to be who I am not only as a soccer player but also as a girl who understands my rights.”Said Laureen.
3rd Position: The third position spot went to 15 years old Eunice Akoth from Pioneer club.She received a Mrembo T/shirt, a ball for her team and a six month sanitary towel supply, courtesy of VAP’s Mrembo program.”Mrembo program as a whole has strengthen my believes as a girl and now am in a position to make my own good choices for my life.”Said Eunice.
Please read the attached report for more details and photos.Again thanks so much for your generous donation